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I Robot Now

Project type:
Movie promotion
In support of:
I, Robot (20th Century Fox)
April 2004
I Robot Now purports to be the home site for the company making the robots featured in I, Robot. We get a nice Flash-based marketing pitch for the robots -- "Be part of the I-Generation!!" -- complete with what could be a TV commercial, as well as descriptions of the features of the robots, some historical details about the company and its founders, and an opportunity to register for more information (which of course signs you up for the standard Fox movie mailing list).

But the point of the site is to let visitors "design" their very own robots. You can pick skin color, musculature style, outer surface, and eye color, and then save the result as custom-built desktop wallpaper. You can also answer a couple of questions about "how you'd like to use your robot" and send a friend an e-mail that contains a pointer to a picture of your robot and a bit of commentary:

Dear Fred Miller,
I just created my own NS-5 - the world's first fully automated domestic assistant. Mine will Manage finances, Mow the lawn, Manage finances. Click the link below, or paste it into your web browser, to view Jim Miller's NS-5.

What will you do with yours?

Visit to learn more and create your own.

Overall? Not bad. There's enough interactivity to keep me on the site for awhile, and the fact that I can come away with something based on my visit is a nice touch. The viral hook linking my friends to my creation is also a good idea, even though the message is worded in a rather ham-handed way (especially the treatment of the "how will I use this?" questions they went to so much trouble to collect) and the link doesn't actually work as advertised -- unless I'm missing something, click on it, and you simply go to the iRobotNow site. Why not a picture of the robot with some text noting that this was Jim Miller's robot, and some links into the main site where you could build one of your own and pass on to your friends? To whine a bit (more?), I don't know that they needed to build in that much Flash animation in response to mouse clicks, but it's actually pretty tame in comparison to the primary I, Robot site. That, however, is another story. But, whining aside, this is a good job.